Who is responsible for repairs

There are repairs we are responsible for, repairs you are responsible for and repairs we will charge for.

Repairs we are responsible for

General housekeeping

It is our responsibility to:

  • make sure your home is secure, in a good condition and protected against the weather
  • repair shared or communal areas
  • give you advice about how to prevent damp and condensation, including how to use a hydrometer

Heating

It is our responsibility to:

  • complete a gas safety check once a year
  • repair your boiler when you have no heating or hot water

There are checks you can do before you report a repair if your boiler, heating or hot water has stopped working.

If you live in Albany, Fatfield or Oxclose and are part of a district heating system, you can find out more about Washington district heating.

If you live in one of the high-rise buildings in Monkwearmouth or Roker, find out more about the ground source heat pump heating system. The buildings with this kind of heating are:

  • Church Street North
  • Dame Dorothy Crescent
  • Devonshire Tower
  • Dock Street
  • Eglinton Tower
  • Victor Street
  • Zetland Square

Plumbing

It is our responsibility to clear blockages that you cannot clear yourself.

Electrical

It is our responsibility to:

  • complete an electrical safety check every 5 years
  • replace lightbulbs and fluorescent tubes in encased light fittings and outside light fittings
  • test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors once a year

Plastering

It is our responsibility to:

  • patch walls and ceilings
  • skim walls and ceilings where there is a structural problem
  • grout tiles to repair damage caused by general wear and tear

Joinery

It is our responsibility to:

  • maintain and repair all fire doors
  • repair or replace doors damaged by general wear and tear
  • complete general repairs to your kitchen caused by general wear and tear
  • repair existing fencing, bolts and catches

Drains

It is our responsibility to provide you with a gully and external drain covers.

A gully is outside and has a grating or grid to stop leaves, litter and larger objects from getting into the sewer.

Repairs that you are responsible for

As your landlord, we are responsible for making sure your home is safe and secure. You are responsible for general repairs and maintaining your home.

General housekeeping

It is your responsibility to:

  • decorate and clean your home and windows
  • supply and fit floor coverings
  • take care of your garden and cut the grass
  • maintain and repair any fixture, fitting or appliance you or a previous tenant installed, unless we agree to do it for you
  • install, maintain and replace clothes posts, washing lines and rotary dryers
  • maintain your garden shed
  • maintain doorbells, door knockers, door numbers and door stoppers
  • deal with any pests in your home

If you live in a sheltered housing or extra care scheme and your doorbell is hardwired to your electricity, we will repair it.

Pests include rats, ants and wasps. If your home needs a major repair, we may need to do this repair before you can do any pest control work. Find out more about pest control in your home and the service Sunderland City Council offers.

Heating

It is your responsibility to:

  • remove your radiators when you decorate
  • check and bleed your radiators
  • get our permission before you get a smart meter

Plumbing

It is your responsibility to:

  • clear small blockages from basins, baths, sinks and toilets
  • replace plugs and chains to basins, baths and sinks
  • replace toilet seats
  • provide a shower curtain

Installing and maintaining appliances

It is your responsibility to use a Gas Safe Registered tradesperson to:

  • service gas cooking appliances you own
  • install pipework for gas cookers
  • fit the gas bayonet on gas appliances

You must get our permission before you get any pipework installed or gas bayonets fitted.

It is your responsibility to use a qualified tradesperson to fit:

  • pipework for washing machines and dishwashers
  • vents for tumble driers

Electrical

It is your responsibility to:

  • supply and repair aerials, satellite dishes and telephones, except in communal areas
  • replace lightbulbs and fluorescent tubes on standard light fittings
  • press the button on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors once a week to make sure it works

Plastering

It is your responsibility to:

  • plaster small cracks and small holes on internal walls or ceilings
  • grout tiles to repair damage caused by mould and mildew

Keys

It is your responsibility to:

  • replace lost keys, fobs or locks when you are locked outside your house
  • get extra keys for your home

Joinery

It is your responsibility to:

  • adjust doors if you fit new carpets, except fire doors
  • tighten screws, handles and hinges on kitchen cupboards and doors
  • get our permission to alter kitchen units for things like cookers, fridges and freezers

For fire doors, you must never:

  • adjust the bottom, top or sides of the door
  • paint or add vinyl to the door
  • remove or adjust door closers
  • repair, change or add door locks
  • change the letterbox
  • decorate the door
  • screw anything into the door, including door knockers, door numbers, handles, chains and bolts
  • wedge the door open

If you live in a flat, sheltered housing or extra care scheme, your front door is a fire door.

Drains

It is your responsibility to keep your gully clear of leaves and rubbish.

A gully is outside and has a grating or grid to stop leaves, litter and larger objects from getting into the sewer.

Repairs we will charge you for

Our repairs service is part of your tenancy agreement, but we do charge for some repairs. We will tell you if you must pay for a repair when you report it, how much it will cost and if you must pay in advance.

We will charge you for repairs if the damage is:

  • from neglect or misuse
  • on purpose
  • because of a lack of care
  • repetitive and caused by you, other householder members or visitors

We will also charge you if you:

  • damage or lose your keys or fobs
  • damage locks
  • damage something that you changed in your home without our permission
  • leave rubbish, furniture, or personal belongings at the end of your tenancy
  • report an emergency repair out of working hours and it is not an emergency

Find out more about emergency repairs.